Ayala offers to resolve traffic woes

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  • A wholly-owned subsidiary of conglomerate Ayala Corp. said Wednesday it will submit a list of infrastructure projects under an unsolicited mode to the Duterte administration to alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

    “We have a few projects, some are unsolicited. We’re looking at hotspots. That’s where we’ll try to solve the [traffic] problems. Our mandate is not to look at nice projects to make money on. Our mandate is to look for an area where we can do something to alleviate the difficulties, the pain points and the congestion,” AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. president and chief executive Jose Rene Almendras told reporters in a news briefing.

    Almendras, who served as secretary of Cabinet and Foreign Affairs and Energy Departments under the Aquino administration, said AC Infrastructure would propose projects that would be completely aligned with the Transportation Department’s plan.

    “There’s  a masterplan of sorts, but I guess we’re looking at opportunities where government has resources that they are committing to certain things. We’re studying. One is we will bid for some of them, when they decide to bid it out, if they decide to bid it out.  If not also, there are some ideas on how to solve some problems of traffic,” he said.

    Almendras said there would be enough space for infrastructure projects all over the country, but the company was trying to focus on certain key areas where AC Infrastructure wanted to invest in and make solutions happen.

    “We identified vehicular traffic, across the Pasig river, that’s the most I will tell you. We have identified goods movement as a challenge, so certain areas are not linked to certain areas for trucks. Why? Because of road space limitation. We’ve identified airport as a challenge, if it will take us 10 years to build a new airport,” he said.

    “The mandate is we have an infrastructure shortage, and because of that, we have hotspots and pain points, so we’re using that to identify and prioritize our activities,” Almendras said.

    Almendras did not identify the proposed infrastructure projects, as their feasibility studies were not yet finished.

    “We’re studying every single aspect of the project which has the biggest possible effect to the problems that we’ve identified, he said.

    AC Infrastructure’s current portfolio includes toll road and rail projects.  The company owns  50 percent of Light Rail Manila Holdings that resulted in a 35-percent interest in Light Rail Manila Corp. which earlier won the bidding for the P64.9-billion LRT1 Cavite Extension.

    AC Infrastructure is also a part of the group which won the P1.72-billion contactless automatic fare collection system for LRT 1, LRT2 and MRT 3.(D. Amojelar, MS)

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